Intel Revenue Remains Flat

Intel officials said gains made in the Intel Architecture Group-particularly in the mobile space-were offset by a unexpected drop in flash memory sales .

Intel Corp. saw revenue remain flat and net income drop slightly in a first quarter in which the giant chip maker made big strides in its mobile and wireless offerings with the launch of Centrino and Manitoba products.

Revenue for the quarter ending March 29 came in at $6.75 billion, a slight drop from the $6.78 billion from the same period a year ago, Intel reported on Tuesday. The Santa Clara, Calif., company earned $915 million, a 2 percent drop from the $936 million it earned in the first quarter 2002.

Intel officials said gains made in the Intel Architecture Group—particularly in the mobile space—were offset by an unexpected drop in flash memory sales fueled in part by a price increase at the end of the year.

"While our flash business sales were disappointing, we are committed to growing this business and returning it to profitability," President Paul Otellini said during a conference call with analysts.

However, a key to the microprocessor sales was Centrino, which launched March 12. Centrino is a package of wireless technology that includes the Pentium-M chip—formerly known as Banias—and the accompanying 855 chipset family and a Wi-Fi module, the Pro/Wireless 2100 Network Connection. Designed specifically for notebooks, the Centrino technology is targeted at increasing battery life and performance while giving users wireless connectivity via thousands of global Wi-Fi "hot spots."

Otellini said the company has sold almost 1 million units of Centrino in the first quarter, and expects more than $1 million in sales in the second quarter. It will be helped as Intel adds 802.11a capability in the middle of the year, he said. Currently Centrino offers 802.11b capability.